Fitness Articles of the Week #35 – Day After Thanksgiving, the UP Activity Bracelet, and Bodyweight Exercises

First of all, I hope you had a great Thanksgiving! I sure did. We made a complete vegan meal; mashed potatoes, biscuits, tofurky roast, potato soup, green bean casserole, and pumpkin pie. LOTS OF FOOD! Good times. I’ll put a post up soon with the recipes.

Anyway, here are the best health and fitness articles I’ve read over the past week.

UP by Jawbone

I saw this on the Random Show with Kevin Rose and Tim Ferris and just had to mention it. The “UP” wristband will track your steps, distance, GPS routes, active & inactive times, calories burned, pace, intensity level and sleeping patterns. You can plug it into your iPhone and get immediate results too. This thing is crazy and definitely sounds worth the $100 price tag.

Why Is It So Hard to Believe In A Behavioral Addiction?

With all of the cheating celebrities claiming to have sex addictions, many people find it hard to believe in behavioral addictions such as that, but the brain works in mysterious ways. We shouldn’t write things off without educating ourselves first.

Fish Oil Benefits: Tip The Scales In Your Favor With Our Expert Guide

Here’s a great primer on why Omega-3 supplementation is beneficial. I don’t recommend fish oil, not only because I’m vegan, but because fish get their omega-3 from algae. Skip the fish and get it from the source. I would recommend something like Opti3, which contains both EPA and DHA.

Pizza Is Still Not a Vegetable – Congress Gives Tomato Sauce A Bonus

I don’t know if you’ve heard about this yet, but congress has officially declared pizza to be a vegetable, basically so that they can continue to serve it in schools. This has to be the most ridiculous and ass-backward thinking ever.

Seitan Roast Stuffed With Shiitakes And Leeks

I sure wish Isa would’ve posted this recipe a couple weeks ago before I bought my Tofurky roast, but that’s ok. I can make it next year, or maybe for Christmas this year. Looks delicious!

John Berardi’s Great Fasting Experiment

It really bothers me when people make stupid, uneducated comments about veganism being a bad thing, but this is still a good article about intermittent fasting.

Bodyweight Exercise Program Spreadsheet

You’ve heard of the “100 Pushups” program before right? Well there’s also a “200 Squats,” “200 Sit-ups,” and “150 Dips” program and this spreadsheet has all of these programs in one place for you track your progress. Cool!

BodyMetrix Personal

If you’ve been looking for an accurate way to measure your body fat, fat loss, and muscle gain, there’s finally a device you can use in the comfort of your home. It’s a bit expensive at $495, but considering that other pro options cost upwards of $1,000, this is a pretty good deal.

Fitness Articles of the Week #34 – Skyrim, Silken Tofu and AM Workouts

Every weekend I publish a recap of the best health and fitness articles I’ve read over the past week. Here are my favorites.

Getting Fit The Skyrim Way

This is such a great idea. I especially love this because I’m also a huge video game nerd and I actually bought Skyrim on release day last week. The idea here is to do 10 pushups for every hour you play and Skyrim isn’t a short game. It’s estimated to take upwards of 200 hours. That’s a lot of pushups over time!

Tony Horton explains the difference between P90X and P90X2 – YouTube

P90X2 looks like a fun program, but some of the moves shown in the video seem a little gimmicky. I’m also not too keen on the “post-activation potentiation” phrase. I’d still very much like to try the program though 😉

10 Incredible Mountain Bike Trips

I haven’t done any mountain bike riding at all, ever, in my entire life. I’ve ridden a mountain bike, sure, but in the city and on trails where they’re not meant to be ridden. I have a friend who has recently become obsessed with riding single track trails throughout Colorado who invited me to ride with earlier this year, but I never got the chance. I really hope I can make time next summer, because it looks awesome.

How to Make Fresh Silken Tofu from Soy Milk

I never knew how it easy it is to make silken tofu. It sounds like making firm tofu is quite a bit more difficult though.

Myths and Facts of Joint Pain

Did you know that popping your knuckles doesn’t cause arthritis? There are lots of other interesting tidbits about joint pain here too.

New mouthwash targeting harmful bacteria may render tooth decay a thing of the past

This is amazing! Our teeth are pretty important in keeping us healthy, so we need to do whatever we can to make sure they last as long as possible. I can’t wait until this mouthwash becomes available to the public.

Bodybuilding Macros

I’ve never felt like breaking down my meal plans based on macros, but maybe I should. This guide is pretty understandable. I think I’ll give it a shot.

Recipe: Cookie Dough Ice Cream (gluten and dairy free)

I’m going to make these with a few modifications. I think I’ll use a little hemp protein and then some cocoa powder for flavor. I’ll also switch the honey out with agave syrup and add some brown suger. Mmmm.

Moving to Morning Training – Q&A

I’ve only ever worked out in the morning. In the last 5+ years, I’ve probably done a lunch or after-work workout no more than 10-15 times. I just don’t like working out later in the day. I used to drink a protein shake before working out, but now I prefer to just workout on an empty stomach.

Health Benefits of Muesli

I’ve never had muesli, but I keep hearing about it. It seems really healthy. Maybe I’ll finally try it out.

Prepare Your Bicycle and Your Body for Winter Riding

Good stuff if you plan on riding this winter. I keep telling myself I’m going to try it, but then I wake up and it’s so cold and I can’t bring myself to do it.

Fitness Articles of the Week #33 – Cheat Meals, New Vegan Subway Patties and Homemade Kombucha

image courtesy of Uncle Catherine

Every weekend I publish a recap of the best health and fitness articles I’ve read over the past week. Here are my favorites.

Cheat Meals vs. Cheat Days

Here’s a little theory behind how cheat days work. If you want a better explanation, read The Four Hour Body from Tim Ferris. Great book. Then get some fried pickles, like the ones in the picture above. Mmmmm 😉

An Essential Resource for Pregnant Vegans

Veganism and pregnancy is one of the hottest topics in the arguments against veganism. Many health professionals simply don’t understand vegan nutrition, but this book seems to cover everything.

Mobile App Checks Ingredients

By scanning barcodes, Inrfood will check ingredients to determine if they are suitable for vegans, diabetics, people with allergies and more. How awesome is that?! It’s supposed to launch by the end of this month.

Subway’s New Vegan Patty

You might already know about the veggie patty at Subway, but that has eggs in it. Thanks to customer request, Subway is testing an all-vegetable patty in Canada. I can’t wait til it hits the states. I miss eating Subway.

Animal Rights and Vegan Ethics: List of Questions

I’m regularly bombarded with questions about veganism from people who try to find a flaw in my beliefs. People don’t want to hear that what they are doing is wrong, so they do everything they can to avoid the issue. Well now I have a go-to guide to refer to when I get stupid questions like “but you’re killing plants.” Sigh… I hate that one.

How To Make Soy Milk [Video!]

I never realized how easy it is to make soy milk. I consume a lot of soy milk in my protein shakes, so making my own would probably save me lots of money. I just need to find a pressing cloth and I’ll be set. Low cost and no processing!

10 More Stubborn Food Myths That Just Won’t Die, Debunked by Science

I love these types of articles, especially when they come from reputable and entertaining sites like Lifehacker. There’s lots to learn here.


I’m usually not too afraid to try strange foods/drinks, but I’ve never been able to bring myself to taste kombucha. I want to, since it’s supposed to be so healthy, but everyone tells me that it doesn’t taste all that great. I think I”m going to break down and buy a bottle from the store and if it’s not too bad, I’m gonna try making my own.

Beachbody INSANITY Results – YouTube

You can see this guy’s body change almost immediately. I would guess it’s because he likely didn’t have the best diet before starting the program and then made drastic changes. He took it seriously and planned appropriately. Awesome job.

Vegan Green Chile With Steamed White Seitan

Green chile is my absolute most favorite food ever. I go to Mexican restaurants for the sole reason to try their green chile. I started cooking around the age of 12-13 years old and since then, I’ve tried lots of green chile recipes, but I could never find one similar to the restaurant style that I love. That is until a couple weeks ago. I came across this one via a coworker of my brother, who gave him the recipe just a few months ago. My brother knows, and shares, my addiction of green chile so he sent it to me.

The original recipe had pork, but because I’m vegan, I used the delicious steamed white seitan recipe from the Viva Vegan! cookbook by Terry Hope Romero instead. I don’t know if the seitan added flavor, but I thought it would at least make it heartier. You can use whatever seitan recipe you want or you can probably do without it all-together.

Steamed White Seitan

1.5 cups cold veg broth or “chicken” flavoured broth
4 cloves garlic (grated)
2 tbsp. olive oil
1.5 cups vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup chickpea flour (aka garbanzo flour)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. sweet paprika
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. salt or more to taste

In a bowl, whisk together broth, garlic, and olive oil. In a large bowl combine vital wheat gluten, chickpea flour, nutritional yeast, thyme, paprika, cumin, and salt. Form a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour wet ingredients into the well and stir with a rubber spatula until dough leaves side of the bowl.

Knead for 2-3 mins to develop gluten, the let sit for 10 min. Knead again for 30 seconds.

Place dough on cutting board and cut into 4 equal pieces

Tear off four 12×12 inch pieces of foil and place one piece of dough in center of foil, fold the short sides of the foil over the loaf, then fold over the ends. It should be secure but loose enough to allow seitan to expand. Place in steamer basket and steam for 30 mins. Allow the dough to cool to the touch before chilling in fridge or overnight.

Store seitan in the fridge tightly sealed in a plastic bag for up to 2 weeks or freeze, defrost before use. For the green chile recipe, you’ll need to dice one or two loaves.

Green Chile Recipe

2 mini-loafs of steamed white seitan diced
Diced roasted green chile peppers (5-6 large peppers)
1 small can of diced jalapenos (or a few fresh jalapenos)
1 16oz can diced peeled tomatoes
2 tbsp. corn starch
1/4 cup oil
2 tbsp. garlic powder
2 tbsp. pepper
1 tbsp. salt
2 cups water
2 tbsp. vegetable broth

In a large pot, on medium heat, warm oil. Add seitan and cook in oil for approx. 5 minutes. Add garlic powder, pepper and salt as per measurements or to taste.

If you haven’t already diced your green chiles, do it now!

Add green chile and jalapenos, stir and cook for about 5 minutes.

In blender, add tomato, corn starch, vegetable broth and water. Blend for a few seconds, then add to the pot. Simmer until thick. 20 minutes is probably fine, but I simmered for 45 min.

And you’re done! Put it in some tacos or smother your burritos. 😀

Fitness Articles of the Week #32 – Steve Jobs, the Orange Man and Coconut Whipped Cream

image courtesy of Danny Novo

Every weekend I publish a recap of the best health and fitness articles I’ve read over the past week. Here are my favorites.

“And one more thing” about Steve Jobs’ battle with cancer

A look at the conventional and alternative medicine methods Steve Jobs used to try to treat his cancer. Basically, it’s hard to say if any of the methods he used or didn’t use, could have, or if they did help him.

5 Ingenious Injury Recovery Strategies

I injured my shoulder a few months ago and I decided to do absolutely nothing for an entire month, because it wasn’t getting better. Finally, I decided that I needed to do some rehabilitative exercises to strengthen the area. I felt the progress within only a couple of days.

Intermittent Fasting Calculator

I’ve never tried intermittent fasting (IF), but I’ve always been interested. With this new IF calculator, you’ll be able to figure out exactly how many calories you should be consuming during this dietary program.

The 8 Habits of Healthy Living

I agree completely with this list. I’ve lived by all of these rules for years. I quit smoking a little over a year ago and became vegan 4 months ago. I’ve never felt healthier.

Sports Are 80 Percent Mental: Apolo Ohno Trains His Legs And His Mind For The NYC Marathon

It’s interesting how a top-level athlete in one sport can find another sport to be so difficult. This reminds me when I went snow-shoeing a couple years ago and how difficult it was for me, and I as I stood there gasping for air, a skier walks straight up the mountain like it was nothing. WTH?!

Squatmeggedon – All Things Squatting

There’s a lot to learn about squats here. Read this and make sure you’re doing squats properly. I actually learned some things myself.

Why I Hate the Deadlift

This is a long article about why this guy hates doing the deadlift, which is a fun read and all, but there are tons of great tips right after the rant. There are tips on both Sumo and Conventional deadlifts from 25 people.

The Blueprint To Getting Big

Provided by Muscle & Fitness, this protocol has supposedly been used successfully with thousands of clients. I’m not much of a fan of routines like this anymore because I feel like it’s a bit of overkill for most people, but it looks fun.

Coconut Whipped Cream

Mmmm, this sounds tasty. It’s hard to find vegan whipped cream, but now I can simply make it myself. It only takes coconut milk, a little powdered sugar and vanilla.

A New Form Is All You Need To Avoid Running Injuries

Here’s an interesting method designed to correct your running form.

The Orange Man

This is a scary look at people who have paid the price for seeking alternative medicine rather than working with conventional doctors in treating their tumors.